The Men's Room

Is your ‘cup of joe’ helping or hurting your skin?

cup of joeLet’s face it, we live in a world of “G-O!”. So it’s not a surprise that the average American drinks three 12-ounce caffeinated beverages a day. I’m a coffee drinker, so I know how easily this can happen. But is this good for us? I mean, simply based on the fact that what we take in has to show on the outside should mean that there should be inquiring minds everywhere, right?

Well here’s the good and the bad…

The Good:

  • Smoother looking skin –  caffeine dehydrates skin cells by energizing them, causing them to release sodium, potassium and water, making skin appear smoother.
  • Cancer Fighting – Drinking coffee can reduce your risk of developing basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer, according to a new study published in Cancer Research.
  • Fight Under-Eye Circles – Ok, this doesn’t work when you drink it but, when applied to the skin, caffeine reduces the build-up of blood under your eyes which contributes to dark shadows. The use of moist tea bags to your eyes for five minutes can aid in reducing puffiness, and there are several eye creams on the market that contain caffeine to target this very problem.

The Bad:

  •  Dehydration – even though dehydration can give the appearance of smoother skin, drinking 5+ cups of caffeinated drinks can quickly become and issue for your body and skin.
  • Tannin – is a chemical found in both coffee and tea. Not such a big deal, right? But, did you know they are commercially used in tanneries when processing leather to make the leather soft and shiny? I know…!! The chemical acts by blocking the pores, kind of like “sealing off” the skin and preventing them from receiving nutrients provided by food. Other adverse aspects of tannin are its hydration-removal properties, which can cause your skin to become rough and brittle over time. The main thing to remember is that it’s an excellent curing agent for “harvested” skin, but not so much for living, healthy skin!

So there’s good and bad in caffeine just like everything else. Just like overusing a razor can cause problems, so can over-drinking. Bottom line, moderation is key. Now go have a cup-of-joe on me!

*Source – Livestrong and WebMD

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